Ornette Coleman: Sound Grammar (Sound Grammar)

 |   |  <1 min read

Ornette Coleman: Matador
Ornette Coleman: Sound Grammar (Sound Grammar)

The "Buy This Album" link here is to amazon.com because my guess is there are about four copies of this album in stores across New Zealand.

That's a pity -- and disappointing given it won Ornette Coleman a jazz Grammy earlier this year, and at the same time the 76-year old picked up a Lifetime Achievement honour.

Coleman -- only the second jazz musician to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Music incidentally -- has an ill-deserved reputation for making "difficult" music. But his admittedly daunting Free Jazz album came out 47 years ago (!) and in the past decade or so his music has had a joyous bounce to it, or a yearning bluesy quality.

Yes, he still works some unusual melodic changes and his band line-ups aren't quite what you might expect -- for this album he is back to a drummer (his son Denardo) and two bassists while he plays alto, trumpet and violin.

But it's a measure of the consistency of his unique musical vision that here he can go back to 1958 for Turnaround and about 15 years for Song X, yet they fit entirely within the context of his vibrant new tunes. Coleman's music has never been anything less than honest and considered, and often quite beautiful. Sound Grammar, recorded live in Germany in late 2005, is no exception.

But then again, Coleman is exceptional. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz articles index

RAY BROWN, SUPERBASS (1926-2002): A talent beyond words

RAY BROWN, SUPERBASS (1926-2002): A talent beyond words

Ray Brown great practical joker. Once, in Japan, Brown --- bassist in pianist Oscar Peterson’s famous drummerless group, the most highly paid trio in the jazz world in the 1950s -- went to... > Read more

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Arabic Jazz (Rough Guide/Southbound)

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Arabic Jazz (Rough Guide/Southbound)

Here's a double disc -- a customary, intelligently compiled Rough Guide collection plus a bonus disc -- which might just as easily have been filed under our extensive World Music pages. But... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . .  HAYSEED DIXIE: The wacky world of hillbilly humour

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . HAYSEED DIXIE: The wacky world of hillbilly humour

The remote community of Deer Lick Holler in the Appalachians isn't on the way to anywhere, so there aren't many outside influences. It's where musicologists go to study authentic hillbilly music --... > Read more

Frank Sinatra: Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely (1958)

Frank Sinatra: Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely (1958)

Although neither his best known long playing record from the era (the LP format was just kicking off) nor his biggest seller of the late Fifties, Frank Sinatra's Only the Lonely is an... > Read more